I found out about LessWrong via this community session on the 35. Chaos Communication Congress. It was by far the best talks I had while on congress. And that says something because during congress I usually have lot and lots of good talks.

Personally I feel like there are rather-emotional and rather-rational people. Personally I'm far into the rather-rational territory and I look forward to meeting new people, learning about new ideas and generally advancing my decision making. I study computer science and I read one or another grand philosophical book so far... I'd personally consider myself "GIT/GP/GO" which is Geek Code V3 for "Geek of Information Technology / Geek of Philosophy / Geek of Other".

Bio last updated 2019-10-10.


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This very much speaks to me. I always played in hard mode. I loved it. It's an euphoric rage. Bull and Bear @ Wall Street. That's the feel.

Now I have burn out and struggled for 3 years.

Lol I think I am bipolar. If you love your work and fast cars and perhaps it's a little bit too much get yourself tested. Lmao

Thanks. Re-reading the quote and reading your answer really made it understand better. I think a year ago I misinterpret this. It's more on line of the free software movement and people saying "this sucks I will write a {OpenPGP, mutt, Patreon, Gmail, ...} to make this better"

Yes, IQ tests are medical measurements and they're helpful to medical practitioners. Yes IQ is only loosely related to what we call "intelligence" in the broader sense. The term "IQ" is really consufing because a) it does not measure intelligence and b) it's not a quotient.

Prejudice is a good word for describing this post. The article really tries to make the point of "we need less stupid people" without drilling into the "why" and without considering a basic ethical viewpoint.

The contents of this post seem unnecessary ableist to me. We're building a society for all people and thus statements like these carry a rather bad taste:

This could backfire horribly. We could see affirmative action for stupid people. Harvard would boast about how many stupid people it admitted.

This statement shames people which the article previously stamped as "stupid". People with disabilities have the same right to prosper just live everyone else. It seems to me that your post carries with it the assumption that "having less 'stupid' people" somehow translates to a better human condition. It's hard to see how shaming people who suffer from "disability" or "being stupid" translates to a better society. Perhaps it's exactly the opposite which helps society to prosper: accepting people with disabilities, giving them the resources they need, helping them to create policys and rules which help other people with the same disability etc.

Would you take a pill which alters your thinking patterns in a way some other person considers better? I'd argue that a lot of people don't suffer from "being stupid". Impairing normal functioning and being a source of suffering is necessary for something to be labelled desease[1], something which you did not showed.

Stupid people controlling technology and civilizations developed by smart people are an existential threat.

David Freedman is right. Believing in meritocracy also leads to believing that "smart people" should excert control over civilization and technology. This is in harsh contrast to democracy, where civilization should be directed and altered by the civilization itself (populus). When some part of the civilization is "stupid" then they should be equally represented in the governing system instead of favoring people deemed of correct "intelligence" or "age" or "religion".

people will argue that stupidity isn't any worse than being smart (much as some deaf activists claim that deafness is a culture, not a disability)

The linked article does not state that deafness is a culture but instead that deafness can be used as cultural identification. A very valid assumption given that deaf people have it far easier interacting with other deaf people and their media instead of non-deaf people.

Answer by WannabeChthonicJun 07, 202120

Life Satisfaction. Some people name this "tranquility" and I think the name is very common in the "minimalism" community (because they try to optimize tranquility as far as I can tell). Life Satisfaction is very complex. It's not "maximize amount of friends" or "maximize amount of money" but instead requires constant introspection & skills related to introspection.

I'm also very suspicious of the idea that most of it is original thinking.

It's not important weather or not it's original or not.
In my opinion "I tell you something which make sense" is less important than "I tell you something AND show that this is a more accurate way of thinking than the alternative ideas".

Unlike the world of politics, in the world of technology the choices of individuals may still be paramount. The fate of our world may depend on the effort of a single person who builds or propagates the machinery of freedom that makes the world safe for capitalism.

I highly question this. So apparently I have no say in a democracy but when I am an inventor then I can shape the world? So the activists who lobby for green energy are doing nothing? Governments spending money for research are doing nothing?

I highly doubt that this romantic "single genius" idea is ever so slightly accurate. Usually people create companys and NGOs and sportsteams because together you are stronger, no matter how smart some individual.

Your argument is correct but the premise, that common media coverage on technology is black/white and that futuristic media is mostly dystopian still holds.

I haven't ran any studies on this but the relationship we have to technology is very important ("robot took my job so now I can be a writer, wohoo!"). When we have the impression that technology will further deepen the rifts in society, then we are unlikely to act on deepening rifts in society. When we assume that social progress needs to go hand in hand with technological progress then we are far more likely to act and say "AI can be really helpful but using it to identify non-productive employees can be very anti-social and discriminatory".

Can you keep a secret?

As far as I know: yes I am good at keeping secrets.

How do you know?

People have observed, that I am very concious about talking about other people. I say things like "you better ask them this in Person" or changing topic when permission groups don't match (e. g. more people present than previously). Like many people, I am concious what's on red tape and what's not. Personally I advocate for transparency but I've learned that some people only make deals when off-tape.

This results in people telling me more secrets. They know I can keep them - they have observed, how I not crack when asked about information I probably have.

Person in my sports club once told me about patients of them. After describing vague psychological behaviour I stopped them and said something along the line of "I probably don't know the person but it's easier than you might think, to pin down individuals based on behaviour". I have a degree in computer science with focus on information management, information transportation, analysis... etc. Maybe that's because I sort of know how much information can be contained inside random excerps. I advocate in fahour of the GDPR and am fairly privacy-minded. I know how e-mail addresses can be used to trivially match online accounts. Thats's why my LessWrong account has a randomly generated e-mail address. Etc.

What exactly do you mean by secret?

'Secret' is someone not to be shared. It's very different from 'not telling'. 'Not telling' means that I say it thruthfully when directly confronted. For example the question "Are you seeing other girls?" is a classic question which I would put under 'not telling'. There's nothing to be gained from yelling it into the world. But if someone asks I'd answer the truth (example completely fictional). 'Secret' on the other hand requires some more active work. Tracking the information which a person knows or knows not. Knowing the relationship between the people. If A told me this and B is a trustee of A then this person probably either knows it already of A hides it from B. That sort of stuff. I think the easiest way to solve this is by containerizing 'Secrets'. Like in a way of 'never say this unless you double checked that it's okay to say right now'. Usually I say the truth. There are no logical loopholes if you answer "can't tell" instead of faking something.

Also helpful: I have a reputation for being a really bad liar. That's good. Because 'acting like a liar' is a good thing when you want to tell the truth on paper while still gaining no acceptancy.

I think my definiton of secret is a bit wonky and might need adjusting. Overall I think the term 'Secret' ist used for too many vague things.

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